The Los Angeles Dodgers have been perennially World Series favorites, but have yet to reach the mountaintop. Is moving on from Dave Roberts the next step?
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been steering the ship for five years. Each year, the Dodgers have made it to the postseason. In 2017 and 2018, they made it all the way to the World Series, only to fall short again. In his first season at the helm, Roberts won the NL Manager of the Year award.
These teams were created with all the talent in the world. MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year award winners. Their worst regular season was 2016, in which they went 91-71. They’re constantly in the playoff picture, but still haven’t won a World Series.
So at what point do the Dodgers move on from Dave Roberts as the manager? Do they reward his consistent regular season success? Or do they try to find the guy that can lead the Dodgers to that next step?
Well, it’s impossible to say right now. The very fact that the Dodgers are still in contention for the 2020 World Series may dictate a lot. If they come back to win the NLCS and go on to win it all, I highly doubt they’ll move on from Roberts.
The real question is if they fail to win it all for the fifth straight year under Roberts, will they make the change? It’s a very real possibility. Because not only does Roberts apparently lack the ability to motivate his team for a playoff game…
but the decisions he makes in those games are questionable at best.
Look, everybody knows that lineups are created by the analytics department at this point. So Roberts can’t be entirely blamed for poor offensive production. That falls on the front office and the players themselves.
But bullpen decisions? That’s where you can really see what a manager can bring to the table. And so far, Roberts has pressed the wrong bullpen button more often than the right one. The Dodgers had one of the most effective bullpens in baseball in 2020. If you get through five innings with Clayton Kershaw and a lead, why not turn it over to the strength of the team? Why try to push Kershaw just a little more when you have the luxury of bringing in fresh arms that are proven to be effective, and prevent batters from seeing the same pitcher three times?
Maybe that’s a little too nitpicky to sever ties with Roberts, but the fact remains. When the Dodgers front office puts together a competitive team every single year, but they still can’t win it all, something has to change.
Unfortunately for Roberts, if the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t win this year, he may very well be the change the organization makes.